In 2005, South Wales was hit by a major outbreak of E.coli O157. A total of 157 people, mostly children, became ill and five-year-old Mason Jones died. Following the outbreak, a Public Inquiry developed 24 recommendations aimed at preventing further outbreaks. Consumer Focus Wales has taken on the task of monitoring the implementation of these recommendations and publishes an annual progress report.
Since the first report was published in March 2010, a new rating scheme has been developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). This scheme will give all food premises in England and Wales a rating between 5 (very good) and 0 (urgent improvement necessary) dependent on the outcome of hygiene inspections.
The second of these annual reports was launched at the Senedd (the home of the National Assembly for Wales) earlier today. While compiling this report, staff identified more than 60 premises serving food to vulnerable people that achieved a substandard rating (2 or below). These premises included schools, colleges, nurseries, care premises and hospitals.
We were asked if we could plot these premises on a map to show where they were located to accompany the report.
Luckily, the Food Standards Agency publishes all of their content under the Open Government Licence. This meant that we could build a scraper to work through the food hygiene website to pull out the qualifying ratings to use on the map.
We also used open data from mySociety’s MaPit service to pinpoint the location of each premises so we could plot it on a Google Map. The MaPit service uses data published under open licences by Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey.